This week, CWC member Steve Male brings us a round-up of his favourite resources for writers – some of which can be accessed for free.
“We all know how to write – yes? Well some of us paid a bit more attention during those English lessons than others but as writers or aspiring writers we all at least think we can write.
Then there is the concern of “Can I write well enough to be an author?” This skill will take time to hone but there are plenty of books, magazines blogs and websites giving free advice as well as many courses and venues such as the Writers’ Summer School at Swanwick that will not only provide great guidance but will also build the confidence in any writer to attempt new projects.
This confidence can be further enhanced by entering the myriad competitions for every genre and format under the sun highlighted on this blog and also in all the magazines. There is nothing like winning or being “honourably mentioned” to give us all a boost. Two good magazine sources for competitions and much else are Writing Magazine and Writers Forum, both of which are available online as well as in paper format.
Similarly, when it comes to getting a publisher and self-publishing, there are also many books, magazines blogs and websites dispensing free advice. They also advise what not to do when approaching an agent or publisher which in many cases is just as important as what to do. For those who prefer to/or are resigned to self-publishing then Amazon provides detailed instructions on how to use their site to get your treasured opus out there quickly.
If you self-publish, you then have to think long and hard about how you can publicise your tome and connect with all the potential readership. Not much point in writing and publishing your work if nobody knows it’s available, so won’t be able to read it.
With a traditional publisher some of this will be helped by the publisher but unless you’re a famous author or “celebrity” again you are largely on your own. I have recently come across a free course explaining Amazon Ads.
It is presented and written by Dave Chesson who also developed and sells the well known KDPRocket software application that will help you select the best keywords for your book on Amazon to maximise the prominence of your work and hopefully boost sales. Disclaimer: I’ve only just come across this resource so haven’t started the course but as it’s free it must be worth a look – no?
There is much else available on the web, both free and paid for. A bit of poking around will get you all manner of wondrous goodies, so go on, give it a try.
The only thing you have to lose is your authorial obscurity.”